If My Roommate Leaves, Am I Responsible For The Rent?

So, your roommate has decided to move out before your lease is up — are you now responsible for paying the total rent? You may not like to hear it, but the answer is yes. Since you’re still occupying the space, and your lease has not yet run its course, you are liable to pay the entire rent until your lease expires.

Leases generally hold tenants jointly and independently responsible for the rent. What does that mean? Basically, a landlord can pursue either roommate for the full amount of rent due under the lease, so even if your roommate moves out, it doesn't have any bearing on your obligations under the lease.

If you’re stuck in this situation — or perhaps just fear it — here are a few tips that can help you if you find yourself in a tight spot.

  • Be honest and upfront with your landlord. Your landlord may work with you and let you out of your lease early so that they can continue to receive reliable rent checks from tenants that can afford the space.
     
  • Look online for another roommate. There are so many great sites out there that allow you to find responsible, reliable housemates.  Popular sites include www.Roommates.com and www.CraigsList.org.
     
  • Let friends and family know that you’re looking for a roommate – you never know who might know of someone who is looking for a place in your area!
     
  • Use social media. Send a message to your Facebook friends, or connect with people via Twitter. Get the word out that you’re looking for a roommate, and let others pass along your message.
     
  • Talk to your roommate. Ask their reasons for leaving, and if they’d be able to work something out with you until the lease ends.

 

 

 

Fitler Square: A Destination All Year Round

Philadelphia's Fitler Square neighborhood is located just south and west of Rittenhouse Square, in the southwest region of Center City. The area is framed by Locust and South Streets, and reaches from 21st Street all the way to the Schuylkill River. At its center is a lovely half-acre park that was built and dedicated over 100 years ago. This neighborhood, despite being a quick and easy walk from Philly’s commercial sector, remains refreshingly residential.

The community here is thriving. The square plays host to several annual events and activities all year long such as the Spring Fair, the Easter Egg Hunt, the Halloween Party, and the Christmas Tree Lighting. Besides that, there is also a fabulous year-round Farmers Market that’s open every Saturday from 10am-2pm. The Farmers Market began back in 2003, and is just one of a handful of year-round outdoor markets in the city.

The edifices that flank Fitler Square are all relatively diminutive in size – most are no more than four stories tall, and the tree-lined streets create an urban haven of welcome shade, and neighborhood charm. Besides the natural beauty, you can also find an impressive collection of animal sculptures throughout the square, all of which were commissioned by the Fitler Square Improvement Association, whose objective is to preserve and improve the beauty of the square. And, at the heart of the square stands a picturesque Victorian fountain that spouts water most months of the year.

But, above all it’s the sense of community that attracts people to Fitler Square. A perfect mix of neighborliness and sophistication, not far from Center City Philly, this section of the city has much to offer!

Fitler Square
Pine Street and 23rd Street
Philadelphia, PA
http://www.fitlersquare.org/

Drinks with a View at XIX

For one of the best city views in town, head to XIX Restaurant & Bar at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. Tucked away on the 19th floor, both the bar and restaurant offer spectacular panoramic vistas of Philadelphia – and you’ll feel like you’re “in the know” just for finding the space! For a well-mixed cocktail, head to the bar – decorated with chic leather banquettes, sleek dark wood tables, comfortable chairs, and dimly lit to create an oh-so-perfect cocktail-sipping ambiance. If you enjoy eats with your sips, the bar also offers tasty small plates – such as gourmet flatbreads, lump crab cakes, and artisan cheese plates – all of which perfectly compliment your cocktail or glass of wine. For a real treat, indulge in one of their luscious signature cocktails. Would you care for a Sorrento Lemon Martini or a Basil Pomegranate Margarita? The specialty cocktails change seasonally to highlight the freshest ingredients, so if you find one you like, enjoy it while you can! Mondays through Fridays, stop by between 5 and 7pm to enjoy XIX’s happy hour where you can order up a $6 cocktail or $4 draft beer – truly reasonable prices for a chic center city watering hole!

Besides mixing up delicious drinks at the bar, the Café at XIX serves up a fabulous weekend brunch as well as a great (and reasonably priced) lunch. And, for a truly stunning dining experience, XIX Restaurant knows how to impress. The much sought after window tables offer unparalleled city views, and if you can peel your eyes away from the city, you’ll find yourself in one of the most breathtaking spaces in the city – vaulted ceilings arch upward, and oversized pearls hang from the center of the ceiling, descending over the raw bar. Known for serving up some of the best oysters, clams, mussels, and shrimp from the East Coast, the raw bar itself is a stunning art piece of ivory mosaic tiles.

Whether you’re in need of a happy hour drink to fight off the Tuesday night blues, or are looking for the quintessential romantic locale for a special date night, an evening at XIX will be a truly memorable one.

Visit their website or Facebook page for more information about events and specials.

 

XIX Restaurant

Website: www.NineteenRestaurant.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/XIX-NINETEEN/82322002055

Hyatt at the Bellevue, 19th floor

Broad and Walnut Streets

Philadelphia, PA 19102

Colin Farrell in Philly!

This past week, parts of Walnut Street between 16th and 18th streets were closed thanks to Colin Farrell. Yes, that’s right, the Dublin-born actor was in Philadelphia to shoot scenes for his upcoming film, Dead Man Down. The film also stars local talent Terrence Howard, as well as Dominic Cooper, and Noomi Rapace, and tells the tale of a city crime lord caught up in a tangled web of revenge.

If you happened to be brunching at A.Kitchen, near Rittenhouse Square, on Sunday, May 13th, you would have seen the tattooed star enjoying a coffee and a chat with friends at a sidewalk bistro table — undoubtedly drawing unwanted stares, pointing fingers, and “covert” photos.

The release date for the film has yet to be announced, but is rumored to be sometime in 2013. For the time being, rest assured that traffic patterns should be back to normal in center city, as shooting is said to have wrapped up on Monday, May 14th.

Rittenhouse Square

Philadelphia Parks for Your Pooch

Apartment life can feel a bit confining at times – especially if you’re a dog! If you’re looking for the best dog parks to visit with your furry friend, look no further. We’ve done all the hard work, and found the very best Philly parks to enjoy with your pooch.

Schuylkill River Dog Park
Located just a short walk from apartments in Fitler Square, Rittenhouse Square, and the Graduate Hospital Neighborhood, this off-leash park is located along the banks of the Schuylkill River. The Schuylkill River Dog Park even features separate fenced-in areas for large and small dogs. There are also biodegradable poop bags for the eco-conscious!

Triangle Dog Park
Situated right in Fishtown, the Triangle Dog Park is fully fenced in, making it a great place for an off-leash game of fetch! Fishtown is a popular neighborhood for renters looking for affordable Philadelphia apartments, and the Triangle Dog Park helps make Fishtown a great neighborhood for Philadelphia dogs, too.

Pretzel Dog Run at Manayunk Park
Revitalized beginning in the late 1990s by the Manayunk Neighborhood Council, the Pretzel Dog Run is a wonderful place for dogs living in Manayunk apartments to get some exercise.

Clark Park
Clark Park in West Philadelphia hosts the summer Shakespeare in the Park event, along with a Saturday farmers' market. Clark Park also welcomes pets, if leashed, making it a great destination for University City dogs.

Seger Dog Park
Dogs sharing apartments in Philly's Washington Square West neighborhood can enjoy off-leash fun and play at the Seger Dog Park. Located slightly southeast of Center City, Seger Dog Park features separate enclosed areas for large and small dogs.

Philadelphia is a dog-friendly city. Next time your pet begs to get out of the apartment for some outdoor fun, head to one of these terrific dog-friendly locales, and enjoy an afternoon of fetch and tail-chasing.

The Bazaar at Piazza Schmidts: Food, Fun & Shopping

Looking for something to do this weekend? Head to Piazza Schmidts in the historic Northern Liberties section of the city for their seasonal bazaar’s kick-off weekend. From noon to 6pm both Saturday, April 21st and Sunday, April 22nd, the 80,000 square foot plaza will be transformed into a lively open-air market – with vendors offering everything from handmade crafts, to gourmet food items, to boutique clothing. Trust us, there is something for everyone – it would be a challenge to leave empty-handed!

For a weekend of shopping bliss, a trip to The Bazaar at Piazza Schmidts cannot be beat. And, if you can’t make it this weekend, no worries – The Bazaar will also be open the weekends of May 26-27, June 30-July 1, July 21-22, August 25-26, and September 29-30, rain or shine.

The Piazza was built to foster a sense of community, so even on non-bazaar days, you will find it bustling with residents of Northern Liberties and visitors alike all enjoying the restaurants, shops, and events – such as concerts, festivals, screenings, and music and dance performances – that take place here year-round. The large plaza space also includes an impressive 40 by 20 foot stage as well as a 40 foot (yes, we said 40 foot) HD LED screen on which you can watch Philly sports throughout the season!

The Piazza at Schmidts is located at 1001 North 2nd Street in Philadelphia. Parking is available to guests in the Piazza’s public lot at North 2nd Street and Germantown Avenue, and the Piazza is easily accessible from Center City, Olde City, and I-95, as well as by public transportation.

 

The Bazaar at Piazza Schmidts

April 21 & 22, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

N. 2nd St. & Germantown Ave., below Girard Ave.

http://www.atthepiazza.com/

Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles: Great Furniture for Cheap

If your current funds land you somewhere between dumpster diving and IKEA “some assembly required,” we have the answer to your prayers – Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles on Spruce Street. How would you like a 1920s deco armoire for 90 bucks, a dining table with wood inlay for $60, or a set of retro club chairs for mere pennies?! (That’s what I thought!) Uhuru always has new pieces coming in (so keep checking their website!) – it’s one of those places where one man’s trash (perhaps with a little imagination, spray paint, and panache) can truly become a Philly trendsetter’s treasure.

What New York City stores would charge 10 times the price for, you can get here for cheap. And, yes, cheap is the name of the game at Uhuru, but that doesn’t mean lacking quality. You can easily find well-made pieces here with tell-tale embellishments like dovetailed joints, flathead nail detailing, or original cane rush seats! (If all that jargon means nothing to you, trust me, it’s a good thing.) So, how does Uhuru find these one-of-a-kind pieces? By “shopping” the Sheriff sales and attics of old Philadelphia money – and then passing those deals along to you for dirt cheap.

Browse the stacks of furniture as you peruse for your next mid-century modern coffee table, and don’t be afraid to chat up the friendly sales staff who all offer service with a smile, and are never too pushy. Not only can you furnish most of your apartment for less than it would cost to enjoy a dinner at Le Bec Fin, but Uhuru also offers reasonably priced, same-day delivery. You may have to be patient, and visit a few times before you find all your perfect pieces, but if you’re diligent, and enjoy bargain hunting, this is the place to go.

Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:30am to 7pm. To check out their latest merchandise before you go, visit their website at www.UhuruFurniturePhilly.blogspot.com.

Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles

1220 Spruce St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Neighborhood: Washington Square West

(215) 546-9616 uhurufurniturephilly.blogspot.com

 

 

Philly Culture for Every Personality

If your weekends typically consist of sleeping late and watching TV in your pajamas, it may be time to branch out a bit. Lucky for you, Philly offers an awesome variety of cultural events to educate, excite, and inspire. The only drawback is that you can’t wear your flannel PJs. (Trust us, you’ll be the first to know if we find a place that allows you to show up in them, though!)

So, if you’re ready to get off your bum and expand your mind, we’ve compiled a list of a few highlights at some of Philly’s best-loved museums and public centers.

For the traditionalist
Head to the Philadelphia Art Museum between now and May 6th to enjoy Van Gogh Close Up. If you want to see the works created by one of the most brilliant and tragic artists of the 19th century, this exhibition really delivers. It focuses on the nature-inspired works created in the years just before he took his own life. For details visit http://www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/743.html.

For the science nerd
If you have a penchant for the bizarre, check out Everything Under the Sun: New Photographs of Academy Specimens by Rosamond Purcell at The Academy of Natural Sciences. This exhibition, which runs through May 20th, features photographs of some of the world’s wackiest specimens. Want more information? Visit http://www.ansp.org/museum/art-in-science.php.

For the kid-at-heart
Are you an 8 year old trapped in a 30 year old body? (We sympathize.) To allow your inner child to explore, attend The Franklin Institute’s Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs, there through April 15th – it’s a must-see! You can see gigantic dino skeletons, enjoy robotic dinosaurs in action, touch real fossils, and unearth discoveries in a hands-on dig pit! Check out http://www.fi.edu/dinosaurs/ for more info.

For the avant-gardeist
Beginning March 14, the Institute of Contemporary Art near the University of Pennsylvania will host First Among Equals, an exhibit that foregrounds the connections between artists through space and across time. Like every exhibit at the ICA, this one's sure to be thought-provoking. Best of all? Admission to the Institute of Contemporary Art is free. Visit http://www.icaphila.org/exhibitions/first-among-equals.php for more info, then head over to University City to see it!

For the bookworm
If you’re drawn to compelling tales and real life stories, take a trip down to the Free Library of Philadelphia on Friday, April 20th for First Person StorySlam: Mistaken Identities.  Sit back and enjoy as competing storytellers from Philadelphia tell their best mistaken-identity stories. If you’re interested in attending, visit http://libraryphila.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=435127 for tickets.

So, have we convinced you to get off your couch yet?

Clair Huxtable Is In Town!

If you see a regal-looking woman on the sidewalk, please don't shout 'CLAIR! at her.

'Cosby Show' actress Phylicia Rashad, who's lately been the Queen of Broadway, is in Philadelphia to shoot an NBC pilot called 'Do No Harm.' Philly Gossip's Dan Gross spotted the crew in Chestnut Hill recently, and says the show will shoot across town and in Bucks County for the next few weeks.

'Do No Harm' is about a Jekyll-and-Hyde like surgeon who does battle with his violent alter ego. If the network picks up 'Do No Harm,' the producers promise a lot of location shooting, bringing our area lots of jobs and loud sweater flashbacks.

Watch the show, kids. You'll understand.

 

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